Old Sewing Machine Drawer Frame Makeover

4 Materials
$20
1 Hour
Medium

Old sewing machines are great pieces of history but can take up a lot of space if not in use. Repurposing their parts can be a way to enjoy the character and history in a whole new way. Maybe you're using the drawers as a centerpiece or organization but didn't know what to do with the frame that was around them. With a couple yardsticks and some simple DIY skills this repurpose can be a fun organizer or home decor accent!

Start with an old sewing machine drawer frame

These old frames usually held 2 or 3 drawers on either side of a vintage sewing machine. The drawers can easily be repurposed for organization or a centerpiece with canning jars and flowers. But here's a great repurposing idea for the skeleton frame itself!

Gather some Yardsticks

Gather some vintage or new wooden yardsticks and some scrap pieces of wood.

Create the bottom with scrap pieces of wood

Cut squares of 1" scrap wood to fit between each section, leaving room for the width of the rulers to wedge in on either side. Sand it all smooth, if desired.

Cut and place yardstick sections in ends

Cut the yardsticks slightly larger that the width of the openings on the ends. Then by angling them, you can fit them in the groove already there. The last piece will need to be slightly smaller to fill the space. Use either wood glue or small nails to secure.

Cut and fit yardsticks for sides

Cut yardsticks into 12" sections to create sides. Leave small spaces between to evenly span the space between the vertical boards. Clamps will help keep everything secure while you nail in place.

The yardstick ends should overlap the bottom board. Nail in place (we used a pneumatic nailer) first at bottom, then at top.

Seal and finish off

To seal and finish off, brush on a coat of poly if you like the look of old wood. You could also paint if you prefer brighter colors.

Add a clip or knob to either end

To add a little extra, screw on a clip or a knob to either end. As you can see from these pictures, we made our yardsticks colorful on one side and subtle on the other for flexibility.

Great as an organizer for the kitchen!

This repurposed sewing machine drawer frame works great for organization in the kitchen. Perfect to corral tall kitchen utensils, or for packages of tin foil, plastic wrap, etc. You could even bring it back and forth to the grill!


If you enjoyed this DIY vintage repurposing project, you can find more on my blog HERE. There's always more new ideas for your old things!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Tam
    on Jun 20, 2020

    Mayberry, anyone? Quite charming!!!

    • John Biermacher
      on Jun 21, 2020

      I have repurposed so many treadle sewing machine. The drawers with there lovely veneer make great keeping boxes. The treadle base works for a desk or table base.


      you have provided a use for the drawer guides. Thank you.

Join the conversation

3 of 17 comments
  • Flipturn
    on Jul 4, 2020

    This rack may be useful to store some items, but I would not recommend that it be used in the kitchen for items used in food preparation. All the rough small inside corners and unfinished edges are an invitation for food particles and bacteria to harbour. It will be very difficult to keep this rack clean and sanitized.

    • Jinxx
      on Jul 7, 2020

      I think you could find Tupperware-type rectangular containers at the dollar store to slip into the bottom of this clever creation to protect any items that will be used for food prep. The dollar stores have have endless sizes and varieties. I do this when repurposing vintage items for storage or display. You may have to trim to fit, but you have only invested a dollar.

  • Nancy
    on Jul 8, 2020

    I'll try it have two of them no yard sticks will try smething thanks

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